“A Revolution in Motion”: Advertising and the Politics of Nostalgia

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 University of California at Berkeley
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As part of their “Revolution in Motion” advertising campaign in 1987, Nike introduced the controversial television commericial that featured, as a sound track, the 1968 Beatles song Revolution. Located within a contemporary framework of time and place, emotion and message, politics and consumption, and capitalism and pleasure, the commercial can be articulated to a critical debate that has increasingly come to determine our political and affective lives. This paper focuses on the nature of this debate as it has emerged over the last decade and addresses, among other things, the legacy of the 1960s, the rise of the fitness movement, the insertion of the Baby Boom generation into the marketplace, the definition of American quality of life, and the rise of the political New Right.

Jeremy Howell is with the Department of Physical Education, 200 Hearst Gym, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720.

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